Step 4: Identify Occupations in Demand and Industries that are Trending Upward


Go back to Our 7-Step Approach

By Rajkamal Rao 
If you have completed Steps 1 - 4 correctly, you would, by now, have:
  1.  Defined your brand & decided what you want to do in your career.
  2.  Genuinely abandoned the madness that comes with school rankings.
  3.  Chosen your target states by better understanding current trends in the US economy.

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Now comes the all important task of estimating how your newly minted US degree, chosen career path and industry are likely to fare over the next 10 years.  If you are already in hot fields, this is less of an issue and you can move on.  But if your initial estimates of how you may fare are not promising, you need to be flexible enough to adapt to market conditions.  Because anyone who has studied marketing knows that campaigns are successful only if the product that is being promoted (or sold) better meets customer demand.

We start this discussion with an example most of us can all relate to:  Television and how it has changed over the years to cover cricket.  Thirty years ago, when India won the ICC World Cup, camera angles were few, slow motion replays were almost non existent and player statistics were rarely shown - because television was a relatively minor player in distributing cricket content.

Fast forward to today.  The game attracts mega revenues from highly prized TV contracts.  Star TV is said to have paid the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) over INR 3,800 crores for the right to exclusively cover games - at a whopping price tag of nearly INR 48 crores per game!  Over and above this, Star TV has to pay for the physical coverage of the game (TV equipment, satellite time, sportscasters, camera men).  Star TV hopes that it can sell ads to not only cover its cost but to also make a profit!

So how can Star TV increase the odds that people can watch its programming rather than the 200+ channels that they can watch at any given time of the day?  The answer is simple.  TV producers have to make the game interesting with a lot of drama or else people will just not watch cricket on TV.  Some cynics will say that the demands of game drama have even motivated illegal match fixers - but we are an ethical site, so we will stay away from this debate!

Back to cricket and TV.  Everyone can agree that we now have world class coverage of cricket games that we endure despite all those drab and frequent commercials.  Senior ex-players - sometimes 6-8 of them - man the commentary box with expert comments delivered ball-by-ball.  Cameras and microphones are everywhere - even embedded in the stumps - to catch the action as the game is played.  Replay angles are numerous.  Wagon wheels and up-to-the-minute statistics provide information about players and the game that was hitherto never possible. In fact, the game itself was changed to add more drama.  Third umpires were added with the authority to reverse decisions of umpires on the ground.  Bowling and batting power play rules were added to change scoring levels.

In essence, the product (the game of cricket and TV coverage) was changed to better meet viewer demand.

We provide the above example to emphasize that in your own campaign, as you market yourself to schools in the United States, you will have a better chance to secure a meaningful internship and a good job after graduation if you cast yourself to better meet demand.  Remember that the entire focus of this website is to help you increase your Return on Investment (ROI) on US education - both short and long-term.  [For a primer on why student ROI is usually low today, please see Indian Students' ROI on US Education is Low].  We are glad you are here because our promise is to help you significantly increase your chances of making your US education meaningful to your career.

Now to the elements of Step 4.  You need to truthfully answer two questions:
  1. After you graduate from a US school, what job would you like to have?
  2. And what industry would you like your job to be in?  
Step 4 addresses both these questions in detail.  Rather than provide our methodology first, let's start by considering another example which is more relevant to the discussion.

Example for Step 4
Our Step 4 methodology explained
Another example to illustrate 4a and 4b

Where do you want to go next?
  1. Step 1: Prepare Better. Define Your Brand & Decide What You Want a t
  2. Step 2: School Rankings Matter Less Than You Imagine, So Think Different
  3. Step 3: Choose Your Target States by Better Understanding the US Economy
  4. Step 4: Identify Occupations in Demand and Industries that are Trending Upward
  5. Step 5: Review School Selection Factors, Including Financial Considerations
  6. Step 6: Finalize the List of Schools
  7. Step 7: Finalize your Application
 As always, we are glad you are here.

Go back to "Rao Advisors - Home".

A Note About Premium Services

Our promise is to empower you with as much high-quality, ethical and free advice as is possible via this website.  But students often ask us if they can engage with us for individual counseling sessions to complete this and other steps.

Individual counseling is part of the Premium Offering of Rao Advisors and involves a fee.   Even if you take advantage of our services, you are still ultimately in charge.  This principle is ground in our fundamental belief that you alone should be responsible for the career decisions you make.

We suggest that you review our Note on Premium Services for more information.  Or you may
contact us directly for more information about our Premium offering.

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